The good person of Szechwan
Written by Bertolt Brecht
Directed by Ashley K Tata
Original Music by Paul Pinto
Costumes by Kristen Kopp
Lights by Tuce Yasak
Projections by Scott Fetterman
Riverside Theater New York_2012
“The Good Person of Szechwan” confronts what it means to be “good” in a world that encourages corruption and craftiness.
The story follows Shen Te, a young prostitute in a city characterized by poverty and desperation.
Shen Te is introduced to gods whose wish is to find a “good person” untainted by worldly vice and structural iniquity. Though marked as “good,” Shen Te struggles to juggle all that the world seems to demand. The play addresses how one is torn internally by an attempt to live a good life.
Tata presents this play with all of its nuance and thoughtprovoking intricacies intact. It opened aggressively with shouted lines, audience interrogation, and multiple loud bangs, and continued to deliver until the final curtain closed.
The play, while basically unaltered, is full of little bonuses and glimmers of creativity. For example, there is a constant stream of live, original compositions played from one corner of the stage. Screens up above give the audience occasional, affecting close ups of actors’ faces. Simple yet illustrative sets and refreshing choreography help hold audiences’ attention.